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This Week's Reading: Genesis 37-41
Come Follow Me Insight #1
Was Joseph arrogant, naive, or what?
Why in the world would Joseph share his dreams in which his parents and brothers all bowed down to him? Was he showing off? Was he unaware that it bothered them?
No! As we can see from his dealings in Egypt Joseph was both good and wise. So why did he tell his family about his dreams?
Because he had to!
His dreams were a prophecy of future events and when the day came that Joseph’s family bowed down to him, he could remind them of this dream and point them back to God because of it. (In fact, in Genesis 48:8-10 Joseph’s father Jacob does just this!)
Sharing these dreams was Joseph’s way of paving the path for his family to see that God really is always in control.
Come Follow Me Insight #2
Why does the Bible include the SUPER awkward story of Judah and his daughter-in-law?
One of the stories that this week glosses over is that of Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law in Genesis 38. Tamar’s first husband (Judah’s oldest son Er) died childless. This was a big deal among Old Testament people because this meant a man had no heir and that his family line ended. In order to avoid this, the Israelites practiced what is called a “levirate” marriage or marriage to your husband’s brother (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). (The word “levirate” comes from the Latin root word “levir” which means “brother-in-law.” Source)
So Tamar was then married to her husband Er’s next brother Onan who did not want to provide an heir for his dead brother and therefore made sure he did not get Tamar pregnant (Genesis 38:8-9). Sometimes the Old Testament is so TMI. This angered the Lord who then killed Onan.
Judah’s last son, Shelah, was promised to Tamar once he was old enough. However the time came when Shelah was a man and Judah did not offer him to Tamar (Genesis 38:14) so she went ahead and tricked Judah into “knowing” her and providing her with the long waited for heir of her first husband Er (Genesis 38:14-18).
Come Follow Me Insight #3
Why did righteous Joseph marry the daughter of an Egyptian high priest?
This is a question with no exact answer, but if we pull out our detective caps we can figure out a few things.
God cared very much about his covenant sons marrying covenant daughters. Isaac and Jacob/Israel both had to look far from home to find appropriate wives and continue the covenant line.
Compare this with Esau who disappointed his parents greatly through his choice to marry outside the covenant and consequently was unworthy of his spiritual birthright.
In order to understand the marriage of Joseph and Asenath we have to look at the results of that marriage and Joseph’s later life. Joseph – even after his marriage- was still the birthright son of his father. His son’s Ephraim and Manasseh also received an inheritance as “sons” of Jacob. We can therefore conclude that Joseph was not wrong in marrying Asenath and that Asenath helped raise covenant-keeping sons. It seems safe to conclude that Asenath converted before her marriage and believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
My Favorite Scriptures for the Week
- Genesis 37:3-4
- Genesis 37:21
- Genesis 38:27
- Genesis 39:9
- Genesis 39:10
- Genesis 39:2-21
- Genesis 41:38